Sections corrupted after software updates

All sections in scrivener exported fine until I ran software updates for Mac. Now some sections, when saved as word docs, are corrupted. Can this be fixed? They export fine in rtf files, but when changed to Word, some sections don’t save correctly. I cannot export as Word or save as Word without problems.

You should always use the RTF exporter anyway. The Word exporters use the Mac OS X engine which supports far fewer features and is buggy. RTF is fine for working with Word.

Are the sections corrupting the same ones that had themselves turned into a single paragraph, as per your other query? What do you mean by corrupted? What version of the OS were you using before the update? What version are you using now? Which updates did you apply?

I’m using 10.5.8. It’s the same version, I just ran the normal updates. Everything exported fine two weeks ago, and now exports with those sections unformatted after saving to Word. The only thing I’ve done is updates, so I was thinking that might be the problem. I contacted Office for Mac and they said whatever program I’m creating the files in (Scrivener) is where the problem is. If it’s not the updates, what would cause the files to export oddly? It is the same sections I previously posted about.

As Ioa says, the best format for exporting to Word is RTF anyway - Word opens RTF files fine, so I recommend using the RTF exporter if you are having problems with the Word one.

Are you exporting to DOC or DOCX?

Could you post a screenshot showing the problem, or send me your Scrivener file so I can test it myself?

Unfortunately it’s very difficult to help without more specific information. I don’t understand what you mean by “some sections don’t save correctly” - this could mean that they don’t come through, that they are formatted badly etc, or various other things. The .doc and .docx exporters, as Ioa has said, just use Apple’s default OS X .doc and .docx exporters. These aren’t great - line spacing gets lost, for instance, as can indents. The fix is just to use the RTF export. All versions of Word open RTF files, and you will always get better results exporting from Scrivener as RTF and opening those RTF files in Word than you will using the built-in .doc or .docx exporters. I know that seems a little odd, but RTF is a much more open file format which is why it is better supported.

All the best,

How do I post a screenshot or send you the file? When I export using rtf it works fine. The problem comes in when I save as a Word doc. and I am using doc. I can’t send the work off to my critique group or an editor in rtf file–they need it in Word.

Two weeks ago, when I exported as an rtf, then saved as a word doc, there wasn’t a problem with any of the sections. I changed to export as a word, and now even the rtf files, changed to word are an issue. I would be happy to send you the scrivener file if you could tell me where to send it to.

I don’t understand what you mean by, “exported as an RTF, then saved as a word doc”. Do you mean you exported to RTF from Scrivener, then opened the RTF in Word and used Save As in Word to save it as a .doc file? Because that should work. If you mean you changed the export type in Scrivener to .doc, then you aren’t exporting as RTF at all. Sorry, but it’s not at all clear what you mean so it’s really difficult to say what is going on.

You can zip up your Scrivener file and send it to me at support AT literatureandlatte DOT com and I’ll happily take a look at it - I’ll try exporting to RTF and opening it in Word 2008, then saving from Word 2008 as .doc, which is what I assume you are doing. As for a screenshot, you can use in ~/Applications/Utlities to take a screenshot, and you can use “Upload attachment” below the text box when you type your post to attach it to a post on the forum.

All the best,

KB–you asked me to zip my scrivener file and send it to you, which I just did. When I came on to post this, I noticed another tech support question from FelixtheRed–titled No Paragraphs. It sounds like he’s having the same problem I am. I always export as an rtf, then save as a Word doc. The formatting is lost somewhere between. There are several sections that come out right–but a few that do not.
Thanks for any help you can give me.

Thanks for sending the file - I’ll take a look a little later. When you say, “I always export as an rtf, then save as a Word doc”, though, could you please be more specific? How do you save as a Word doc? From what program? Do you mean as a .doc file? Do you mean you export as RTF, then open the RTF in Microsoft Word, then use Save As in Word to save as a .doc file?

Meanwhile, something you can try in those sections: select the text that looks like a single paragraph and use Word’s functions to add paragraph spacing. Does that break everything apart again, or is it actually all one single line of text? The reason I ask is that if the paragraph spacing is getting knocked out (a known issue), then it can look as though it is one paragraph, but in actuality it’s all the way it should be—just needs to be visually corrected.

I export as an rtf file. I then open the rtf file and click “save as” then choose Word 97 (doc). When I open it the saved Word file, the formatting is funky on some of the sections.

How do you do that? Double click? File -> open in Word?

What are you using to save the Word 97 .doc file? Is it Word, TextEdit, NeoOffice? If it is indeed TextEdit, then you are essentially doing the same thing as compiling from Scrivener using the doc engine instead of the RTF engine (and that is a lossy way of doing things anyway, you will lose footnotes I think). This would also potentially explain why a system update changed things, since TextEdit is just a thin front-end to the core system tools—if they change, so does TextEdit (and Scrivener for that matter). Unfortunately I haven’t run the 10.5 line in a long time, so I’m not familiar with the latest system updates for Leopard. Second question: what are you using to open the resulting doc file and verify these results?

If you are using TextEdit, while clunky and a large download, NeoOffice/ is really the best way to create a proper DOC file out of an RTF file without spending any money. Most people I know tend to avoid actually using it, but as a bridge to other word processors sometimes it’s the best (or even only) way to get 100% of the information converted.

Hopefully we can get this resolved, but it really helps if you spell out everything that you are doing. Saying that you’ve opened the doc file tells us very little, because there are literally hundreds of applications out there that can respond to a doc file, and it is impossible for us to know what you have installed, and what is set up to be the default handler for doc files. If you are unsure yourself of what is opening it, after you open the doc file, the name of the application that handled it will be displayed in the upper-left side of your screen, next to the Apple logo.

That does sound as though you are saving the document using TextEdit. To clarify:

  1. Export from Scrivener as RTF.
  2. Launch Word.
  3. In Word, go to File > Open, and open the RTF document directly.

There is no need for any intermediate step - Word will open the RTF document. You can then use Save As in Word itself to save as .doc or .docx, and no formatting will be lost.

To reiterate: don’t double-click on the RTF file (that will open it in TextEdit by default, which uses the same .doc and .docx exporters as Scrivener); instead open the RTF file directly in Word.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

I followed your directions on opening after launching Word and it worked perfectly. Thank you so much! :smiley:

No problem - glad it helped! I forgot entirely that double-clicking on the RTF file would open it in TextEdit by default, otherwise I would have mentioned it earlier.
All the best,

You can fix this behaviour for future use by right-clicking (ctrl-click) on any RTF file and selecting “Get Info”. This will open a palette from which you can choose to “Open with…” another program than TextEdit. You might have to click an arrow to expand this section, and when you do you will be presented with a drop-down with a few helpful default selections. Word should definitely be in this list. After you choose that, click the “Change all” button below. You will be asked to confirm your decision, and once you do, from that point onward, RTF files should open in Word.